The last hoorah of the summer season, Labor Day is a great time to head to one of Indiana’s lakes for one final plunge. Rent a boat and spend the day on the water, or hit the beach to soak up a few more rays of sun.
Lake James, Angola
Pokagon State Park is located on Lake James and includes a beach as well as paddleboat, rowboat and pontoon rentals. Pokagon offers 200 electric and 73 non-electric camp sites, but if your idea of roughing it includes a sauna, you can stay in one of the 138 rooms at the park’s Potawatomi Inn and Conference Center.
Lake Michigan, Porter
Indiana is home to three national parks: George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City, and the Indiana Dunes National Park in Porter. The Dunes National Park follows 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and features eight beaches and 50 miles of hiking trails. Although there is no lodging in the park, you can find plenty of places to stay in Porter or Michigan City which are nearby.
Lake Wawasee, Syracuse
Kosciusko County is home to more than 100 lakes, and Lake Wawasee is the largest. In fact, it’s the largest natural like in the state. Stay at Oakwood Resort to enjoy their beach. The hotel offers evening boat tours which are complimentary through the week and just $10 per person on weekends.
Eagle Creek Reservoir, Indianapolis
Eagle Creek Park is one of the largest city parks in the nation. The reservoir is 1400 acres of water, and the park includes 3900 acres of forest. There is a separate fee to access the beach (in addition to the gate fee for the park). There is a launch for kayaks/canoes in the park, and a boat ramp off of Dandy Trail.
Raccoon Lake State Recreation Area, Rockville
Cecil M. Harden Lake is 2060 acres and was formed in 1960 when Big Raccoon Creek was dammed. There’s a beach for swimming, and campsites are available in the park. Nearby, you can visit the Mansfield Roller Mill to see a working 1880s flour mill.
Brookville Reservoir, Brookville
Brookville Lake is part of the Whitewater Memorial State Park complex which also includes two state recreation areas: Mounds SRA and Quakertown SRA. The park includes two beaches, cabins for rent, more than 400 campsites, and a shooting range. The area is also known for its fossils, and new discoveries can still be made.
Lake Monroe, Bloomington
Located about ten miles southeast of Bloomington, Lake Monroe (or Monroe Reservoir) contains more than 10,000 acres of water. Stay at the Fourwinds Lakeside Inn and Marina which offers a private beach, indoor/outdoor heated pool, miniature golf, hiking trails, boat rental and two restaurants. Since Lake Monroe is surrounded by several thousand acres of state and federal forest lands, campgrounds are also abundant in the area.